Aggressive deer reported in Oak Bay

Conservation office reminds residents to not approach unattended fawns

A deer crosses the street right behind a trio of pedestrians. Oak Bay recently issued a release advising residents that does can become very protective of their fawns at this time of year.

Oak Bay is not immune to the rare yet increasing scenario of aggressive deer.

The district put out an educational release reminding residents of deer safety after receiving reports of protective does in the community.

“We had four encounters last week,” said Helen Koning, CAO. “It’s just reminding people that it’s fawning season, does are very protective of their fawns and [people should] give a wide berth. When it comes to deer, it’s the responsibility of the province, so we’re just trying to continue the education and remind people, particularly at this time of year.”

Since April 1 the 24/7 wildlife hotline (1-877-952-7277) received 11 deer calls, two of them regarding aggressive deer, says Mike Badry, provincial wildlife conflict specialist.

“This time of year it’s does with fawns in response to dogs. That really seems to be the primary trigger,” Badry said. “It can be difficult to predict when a deer is going to be aggressive until they make a move.”

“In general we say be aware of your surroundings,” he said. “Give deer a wide berth if you see them. If you know there are aggressive deer in an area – and they tend to be individual deer, particularly doe protecting fawns at this time of year – change your walking route, especially if you’re walking a dog.”

He also advises people to carry a walking stick, not to hit an animal necessarily, but to maintain a space if one does approach.

“It’s kind of a new phenomenon of this happening in urban areas. It’s a habituation,” Badry said.

The belief is deer have lost the fear response to dogs, who appear similar to natural predators, such as wolves.

“Over the last 10 years it’s been a phenomenon in North America,” Badry said. “We certainly encourage people to report it if they have an encounter.”

Reports to the call centre are passed on to local conservation services where they assess all calls and make a decision on response. That could mean attempting to find an animal.

“The decision really revolves around public safety,” Badry said. “We’ll also use that call to focus our education efforts around how you can try to reduce conflict in your community.”

Focus on what’s attracting deer, he suggests, fence off plants they find attractive or simply don’t plant them. With the rise in urban deer populations local greenhouses and garden shops feature lists of plants that don’t attract deer.

“Try to deter deer from utilizing your property,” he said, noting information is widely available, including the conservation website http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cos/.

“One of the great things about this being a big issue is there’s lots of information out there,” he said.

Motion-activated sprinklers are an idea, anything really that makes it less enjoyable for a deer to be in the yard

“Certainly don’t feed deer,” Badry said.

Feeding deer in Oak Bay can come with a fine as high as $500 for repeat offenders.

The other nine calls to Conservation since April 1 concerned dead, injured or orphaned deer, which prompts another spring warning.

Don’t pick up orphaned, or what appear to be orphaned, fawns. They’re rarely actually orphaned.

“[Does] leave their fawns all the time to go off and forage,” Badry said.

Residents can report wildlife interactions where public safety is at risk to the provincial Conservation Officer Service by calling 1-877-952-7277 toll free. Find more information on the Ministry of Environment website at env.gov.bc.ca.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria Women’s March draws hundreds

Pink pussy hats aplenty as demonstrators took to downtown streets

Oak Bay Council agenda at a glance

Regional Transportation Service, major reserve funds, and Oak Bay Heritage on tonight’s agenda

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

School fence damaged by soaring sailboat

One boat owner advised, Transport Canada responsible for second boat

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Road conditions wreak havoc for Comox Valley drivers

Icy road conditions early Monday morning kept first responders very busy throughout… Continue reading

Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Former Victoria junior Hicketts making his NHL debut tonight

Second-year pro, Kamloops native, called up from Grands Rapids of the AHL

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Most Read